What do I need to run a Rucksack/FileMaker database?
This brief article explains, very basically, what you need to use our FileMaker Pro databases.
This article was updated 7/23/15. The general concepts described in this article have been good for over a decade, but any specifics mentioned here may be time-sensitive. Confirm the details before making any decisions about purchasing and installation.
The four "layers" To run any FileMaker Pro database, you need the following.
4. The database (of course). You get this from us.
3. A properly licensed copy of the FileMaker Pro application (or FileMaker Go, if you're on an iPhone or iPad). You buy FileMaker Pro directly from FileMaker Inc or from an ordinary third-party reseller of software. You can download FileMaker Go for free using the App Store on your iOS device.
2. An operating system to run FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Go, for example, Mac OS X, Windows 8, iOS 8.
1. Hardware (a computer or an iPad or iPhone) to run the operating system and the application.
In this description, imagine that all of these are integrated — i.e. the database, the application and the operating system are all on the hard disk of the same computer. Things can get more complicated than that and there can be other layers involved if you host the database on a machine running FileMaker Server. But the four layers above — computer, operating system, application and database — are the basic model.
Versions and compatibility The key thing is that each layer has to be compatible with the others. For example, CMAssistant 9 requires FileMaker Pro 14. FileMaker Pro 14 in turn runs only in recent versions of Mac OS X or Windows; you can get the specs from FileMaker Inc's website. And the recent versions of Mac OS X or Windows only run on relatively recent hardware; info about compatibility between hardware and operating system can be obtained from the websites of Apple or Microsoft respectively.
As a very rough rule-of-thumb, hardware purchased within the last five years has a good chance of being compatible with current-release software. But check.
Extra layers for multiuser access Our databases really shine when they're shared by multiple users. Multiuser access can add one or more additional layers to the picture, for example, you might put the database on a machine running FileMaker Server, then access that machine from other computers running FileMaker Pro. The machine running FileMaker Server will need to have the right version of FileMaker Server for the versions of FileMaker Pro that you're using. This will be true whether you set up the server machine yourself or whether you "rent" space on a FileMaker Server machine from a third-party hosting service like Point in Space or FileMaker Hosting Pros.